Bones Theory

Morning After Q: Self- Sabotaging Seeley


Good morning and Happy Friday! One day soon it will really be a ‘morning after’, but for now, we’re still talking general topics.

Here’s something that’s been on my mind, and I’m wondering what you all think…

Would Booth have really gone through with marrying Hannah –not so much because he really was in love with her — but more because he doesn’t believe he deserves what he really wants?

He’s the one who said “Sometimes we have to settle for second best”, and we did talk about that a couple of weeks ago. But I kind of wonder if that wasn’t one of Booth’s internal ‘realistic’ mantras. Yes, he’s the guy who was quick to assure Brennan that there was someone out there for everyone, that all the stuff we think won’t happen…it happens, and all of that…

I always assumed Booth wanted the ‘someone’ in Brennan’s life to be him, but also always assumed that he wouldn’t be that surprised if it didn’t work out. After all–wasn’t that the story of his life? We’ve talked about that before…he’s a good man who has had to do some bad things, but maybe he sees himself as a bad man who makes up for it by doing good things.

If it’s that mentality, then is Jared’s season four diagnosis of him correct–does he self-sabotage…ESPECIALLY if it means putting someone he loves ahead of himself and his own needs? I think we have several other examples of that in the series, and feel free to draw on those, but one thing I’ve just been wondering is if he would have loved & married Hannah because of that tendency to believe he only deserved (and had to settle for) second best.



Peace, Love & Bones,


PS…If you’re more inclined to want to delve into a little bit of spoiler action, can I once again recommend pal Allie’s Epic Flail blog? She’s asking the question “For the love of this baby, can we all forget the past? ”

: D




37 thoughts on “Morning After Q: Self- Sabotaging Seeley

  1. Hmm…great question to start the day!

    I would say that yes, he is self-sabotaging Seeley. And you have on the other side self-sabotaging Tempe as well. How many times have we heard from her variations on “I’m just meant to be alone”. The people she dated superficially, the protection of the lab, her compartmentalizing, her views on love, were ways to sabotage her own happiness. I would say based on her childhood experiences.

    Likewise, Booth is the same way. The women he’s chosen as mates, were not the right ones. His interactions with Jared, not wanting to have a partner (before Brennan) or work with the squints…for all his friendliness and cockiness, he was a loner much like Brennan, who kept other people at arm’s length and did not share his heart or desires with anyone, or his hurts and suffering.

    Finally, he did find Brennan who has become completely in tune with him. When he was struggling from his coma dream, she was the one who realized he was leading with the wrong foot, or that he liked brown sugar on everything, or wants to help him if he’s hurting physically like his back or his tooth. Same thing in reverse, Booth was the one who could see through Brennan’s outward facade to what is really going on with her, in way that even Angela can’t match.

    So yes, Booth is self-sabotaging, and so is Brennan. I would like to see them chuck all of those walls and shells they have around each other and find complete contentment and happiness. Realize that they are worthy and deserving of it. And have a happy little B&B&B family forever! 🙂 🙂

    • I agree– both of them are so willing to believe that they don’t deserve happiness that they are willing to settle. But I don’t think either of them are really going to go into a relationship with the other and believe everything is going to go smoothly. Nor will it go smoothly for them. As much as they deserve to have the happiness they’ve denied themselves, each of them sees the world so differently that the idea of them “living happily ever after” is a very remote possibility.

      More than anything, they each have in the other person someone who will be completely honest and someone they can be honest with. Not that they’ve always been honest, but each of them has been excruciatingly honest with the other in the past and they keep on keeping on as friends and colleagues. I think that is what will keep them together. They both value truth, no matter how painful, and they both can take it from the other because they know that they are accepted by the other, warts and all.

      I think both of them will have to see that they can push and pull at the other while in an intimate relationship and the other person will still be there in the morning. I can see them both sabotaging the relationship, or doubting that it will last, but their strength is in their friendship. That will ultimately keep them together.

  2. I don’t believe he would have married Hannah as an act of self-sabotaging because I don’t think he saw Hannah as “second best.”

    I think he, Seeley Booth – in his own mind – thinking for himself – loved Hannah. Brennan said no, he moved on, and he loved Hannah. If she’d said yes, he would have married her and done everything he could to make that marriage work.

  3. I always considered the proposal an indication that after dealing with the fallout of Brennan’s confession in “Doctor in the Photo”, and the fact that he finally had to face his own unresolved feelings, Booth wanted to know where he stood with Hannah. He sacrificed the woman he loves most (because to me, there’s absolutely no doubt that he was talking about Brennan in his “there’s always one you love the most” speech at the end of the previous episode) in order to stay true to his commitment, and now he wanted to make sure that Hannah was really as committed as he was. To put it even more brutally: if he was going to settle for second best instead of taking the risk of going for what he really wanted, he needed to make sure that Hannah was worth it. (I know Booth told Brennan that Hannah “isn’t a consolation prize”, but I’d say that claim went right out the window with “there’s always one person that you love the most”).

    The problem, however, is that Hannah had made it abundantly clear before that she wasn’t the settling-down type, and Booth isn’t stupid, so he had to be aware of that on some level. Therefore, if he had been looking at the proposal idea with a clear head, he would probably have realized that by forcing the issue, he might well be sabotaging his relationship with Hannah. Of course, that might actually be what he (or at least his subconscious) wanted, given that he basically admitted at the end of “Sin in the Sisterhood” that Hannah was not the person he loves most.

    His reaction to Hannah’s refusal made me absolutely certain that never loved Hannah as a person, but was in love with the idea she represented – his chance at having the kind of life he always wanted, the one Brennan hadn’t be willing to give him. After Hannah said no, it took him all of three seconds to get angry, and the look he gave her when she suggested to “just go back” was downright hostile. That look made me certain that at least a part of him had already wanted out of that relationship, because technically, Hannah was right – there was no reason to break up with her just because she didn’t want to get married (Booth knew about Brennan’s stance on marriage and still wanted a relationship with her, after all). I think the reason why Booth basically dropped Hannah like a hot potato was that he was finally forced to face the fact that he had seen something in her she just wasn’t – especially after she admitted that she had expected they’d get to that point eventually, which means that she was convinced from the beginning that their relationship wouldn’t last.

    Therefore, I’m not sure if I would call the proposal self-sabotaging per se, because I see it as his way out of a relationship that wasn’t truly the one he wanted. I don’t think it was a conscious decision – Booth tries to live by a certain set of rules, and those include staying true to a committment he has made, no matter how difficult it is. So instead of dumping her outright, he put her in a position where she ended up being the one to reject him, and even though he was hurt and angered when she did, I don’t think it was heartbreak over losing her (the only emotion he shows towards Hannah after her rejection is anger), it was more the reinforcment of his belief that he can never be good enough. That’s probably the most “self-sabotaging” aspect of the whole thing for me, because he set himself up for failure and then saw it as confirmation that he’s doomed to always fail in his relationships (just like Brennan kept pushing people away out of her deep-seated belief that everyone was going to leave her eventually anyway).

    • “His reaction to Hannah’s refusal made me absolutely certain that never loved Hannah as a person, but was in love with the idea she represented – his chance at having the kind of life he always wanted, the one Brennan hadn’t be willing to give him.”

      This. You said it perfectly! Ultimately, this is why I never was worried or cared about Hannah being on the show. She was Booth’s version of Sully. Yes, on paper, Sully seemed perfect, but he wasn’t “the one”. Hannah, in theory, is exactly what Booth was looking for, pretty, smart, looking to make a difference in the world…all of that, yet she wasn’t “the one”. Lots of peoplle had a problem with Booth’s handling of the proposal, but I never did. He acted that way because she wasn’t the one he loved the most. But as a principled guy, he would have done what he thought was right, by making it permanent with Hannah if she wanted to take that step. I get that. I do think subconciously he probably realized what forcing a proposal would do, but I really don’t think he was concously trying to do that. But yes, Hannah represented the potential of having the life he couldn’t have with Brennan, and he still desperately wanted that life. He was going to marry Rebecca too.

      That’s why I would like (at some point) to see a B&B marriage, whatever form that would take…justice of the peace, elopement, giant, full-out wedding? Because I just want that for Booth. Not that Brennan would “need” it per se (which I still think she might, that her anti-marriage stance was a front) but that it would be nice for Booth to get that for once….with someone who truly loves and respects him this time. And with the way “Wanda” was flashing that ring around the bowling alley, I have hope 🙂

      • *g* That’s interesting, because it’s the reason why I don’t want a B/B marriage, even if I assume we’ll be headed that way eventually. What I would really want is for Booth to realize how rigid he has been in his views on what constitutes an “ideal” relationship, and that he should stop fixating on outward signs and instead focus on the most important aspect of their relationship, i. e. their emotional connection. He wants to love someone and be loved, and I’m convinced that he can have that with Brennan – but I really wish he would realize at some point that he should stop trying to dictate the outward shape of that relationship.

        Like I said, I’m sure things won’t go in that direction, because the show has all been about “converting” Brennan to Booth’s views on relationships, but I would love for her to remain firm in her distaste for marriage and for him to accept it and trust that what they have will last with or without a wedding. To me, it would cheapen the strenght of their bond if Booth truly needed a wedding ring to believe that Brennan loves and respects him, and that her commitment to him is genuine. I can see Brennan giving in and marrying him because she knows how important it is to him – but I would prefer to see Booth being secure enough in their relationship not to need it.

      • Rose, I’m not really wanting marriage necessarily to maintain a rigid belief of Booth’s, but I think that Brennan’s anti-marriage stance is really a front from her abandonment issues, foster care, etc. and that was just her way of pushing people away. I think we’ve seen a softening in her on that issue, her toast for Angela, her waving that fiancee ring in CitG…I really don’t think her being against marriage is truly her belief, and so I don’t think her getting married someday goes against her character or is her caving. There are just as many anthropological reasons to get married that she could totally validate it in her eyes, should she want to. Such as it helps build communities, societies, gives a child a central place of belonging in a family unit, consolidates resources, legalites (such as hospitizations or decisions on care/treatments) etc…

        IF (and I’m saying this with a big fat IF) they would get married later, I could see it happening without it being OOC for Brennan. I’m not saying I expect it or that it should happen, but I could see the reasoning behind it if they did. And not that Booth necessarily “needs” to be married, but I just kind of think it would be nice. And maybe that’s just my shipperness showing through 🙂

  4. Great question Sarah!!

    I agree with what bb said above about Booth AND Brennan being the “self-sabotaging type”. I’ve always seen Booth as the “it’s on me” guy and Brennan as “run for the hills” girl. I think Booth blames a lot of what happens in his life on himself. The most obvious one would be his past as a sniper, but also his role as a brother to Jared. Even in his relationships, he’s never really blamed the women in his life for things that go wrong. He doesn’t go “it’s not me….it’s you”. In that regard, I was glad he had the breakdown (must’ve felt rather cathartic). Brennan on the other hand is equally as shocked that someone would ever want her (hence the “why me???” look on her face when Avalon talked to her).

    I have to say that Jared may be onto something when he said Booth was self-sabotaging. I, personally, wouldn’t go as far as “sabotage”, but would go more along the lines of “oh well”. With his past relationships, I didn’t (or at least we didn’t see) much of Booth trying to win them back. He kinda went “oh well”. But with Brennan it was a whole different story. He wasn’t “oh well-ing” her in the 100th episode. He respected and loved her so much he would do anything to secure her happiness (or at least what Brennan thought made her happy).

    Could Booth have married Hannah?? I think I have to say YES. As much as he believed he loved Hannah, I think he’ll willing to channel that into making a marriage work. I felt that it was Booth trying to do the “30, 40, 50 years” thing with his “second best” choice. Don’t stone me, but I think he may even have been happy. He’ll be happy, but I don’t think he’ll ever be in as much bliss as he had been while being Brennan’s partner….or better yet….as “dazzled”.

  5. I don’t think Booth is self-sabotaging, but I do think he’s self-sacrificing. To me those are two different things. I think Booth does want the best for himself, he wants to succeed but when things don’t work out for him, when things go wrong, he’s not surprised and I do think sometimes he settles for what he can get.

    Like the partnership he and Brennan have had in the past. I think for a long time he wanted more but was willing to settle for what she could offer. If he was self-sabotaging there was a lot he could have done there to blow it all, to push her away and ruin any chance of a future with her. Really the guy played it just right to get in close with her, not scare her away, or not let her push him away. I do think once he made the play for more with Brennan and she rebuffed that he did settle, but I don’t mean he settled for Hannah, I mean he just finally settled for less with Brennan.

    He realized that they’d never be all he had wanted, and if he did want to keep what he had with her he would have to move on, have a life outside of Brennan. I believe he really thought he’d found that with Hannah, that he had found someone he could love, who could love him, and who he could build a future with. There may have been a bit of self-delusion there, and I know many of us want it to be that he was settling for second best, but I truly don’t think that it felt that way to Booth. I don’t believe he ever felt that “I can’t have what I really want, but this is good enough.” Well at least not until after Doctor in the Photo and then maybe he did get desperate to hold onto what he thought he had been building, and that might be the reason for the proposal. Not to deliberate sabotage the relationship, not to resist the temptation that Brennan had put out there (i.e. I’d never cheat on a wife) but maybe a bit to drown out any doubt that might have started to creep in, to validate all he’d been feeling since he’d met Hannah?
    I don’t know did I get off track here? Anyway in my opinion; Booth is not self-sabotaging. Would he have gone through with marrying Hannah? I want to say no, but I also said he wouldn’t go through with asking her, but we all know how that went. We all know something would have kept it from happening because that’s not the story HH is telling, but would it only have been an influence outside of Booth that would have kept it from happening? I am really not sure. But if he had married her, it would have been because he believed that they loved each other and that they would have had a good marriage, not because he was sabotaging something better that he could have had with Brennan.

    • I completely agree with everything you said! I don’t believe he’s self sabotaging, just self sacrificing. He always puts others ahead of himself,and often it kicks him in the rear. Like losing the credit for the Rico case because of Jared. He wanted to get the credit for that. In no way do I think he wanted to sabotage his career and not get the credit. But he thought that saving his brother was more important than helping himself. I think he needs to learn that it is ok to put yourself first sometimes. Brennan does the same sometimes(although in a different way), and hopefully this next season we will see these issues addressed.

  6. I don’t think Booth is self-sabotaging. Professionally, I think he wants to succeed, but on his own merit and not at the expense of others, which is something the wheeling-dealing Jared didn’t understand. Personally, I think Booth is, as Frankie said, self-sacrificing. He puts others’ happiness before his own. The relationship with Hannah was probably the first time he didn’t do that and I think that was good for him, as painful as it was for Brennan (and us) to watch.

  7. Honestly my head hurts when I think of Hannah. Ha! He loved her, I get it but I don’t believe she was “the one” and I think he knew it too. Do I think Booth and Brennan for that matter self-sabatoge? MMMmm, I think they may have never imagined they could be as happy as they may end up being – or that happiness looking the way it may turn out. I mean, really, on paper would they ever make any sense? I kind of see Booth post 100 more similar to Brennan in how he viewed happiness. I think Booth held on to hope for a long time that he would get the life he always wanted and post 100 episode and post Hannah I think he may have thought any chance of that may have been gone. Remember, he told Hannah he never thought he’d meet anyone again. Wow. Brennan used to think she just didn’t get to belong to a family, that she would be alone forever. So while where B*B ended up at the CITG may have been surprising or “out of character” I see it more as a gift. Really, I do. And I think there goofy grins bellied that even more. The aftermath of that proposal to Hannah – even the way he did it – said a lot. I know some people saw what Booth said to Brennan in the 100th episode as kind of desperate but…i don’t know… I was a sucker for the whole “I knew”. And the way he still accepted to have Brennan in his life even though he knew he had to move on to find what he wanted in life, well, that said a lot too. Can I get over S6? Yep. Absolutely. All of that pain and all of that hooey finally melted away and those two crazy kids found their way to one another – without anyone interferring. They did themselves. Do I think B&B will be smooth sailing? NO. Do they have a lot to figure out. Yep! I like to think of it as the universe/fate intervening and say, okay, enough! You kids are gettting any young. I would like to think that they will both come to realize that they DO love one another and that it is worth it to challenge one another and work through things because the alternative, being without one another, sucks. I agree with Gordon Gordon that B&B are actually more alike than it appears on the surface and I hope they develop that and grow.

  8. As with most of the things we debate, so much of all of this comes down to individual interpretations of things said and done. To me, there’s not a necessary correlation, at all, between ‘sometimes you have to settle for second best’ and ‘I only deserve second best.’

    I think Booth sees himself as a man who tries to do the right thing. Yeah, there are questions there about the lives he’s taken, but I don’t think it means he views himself as in every way being a bad man. Nor do I think he would necessarily describe himself as good man. Maybe just a man who’s done bad things and tries to do good things?

    But one of the things we’ve seen – and which, yes, I place more emphasis on than some fans – is that how he treats women matters to him. He doesn’t use women – even the girls he had sex with in high school he didn’t see as a convenience or of undeserving of respect.

    Brennan told him no and didn’t give him any kind of hope she’d change her mind. So that meant he’d have to move on, especially if he was going to do as she asked and continue to be her partner. He met Hannah, and formed a relationship with her. Did she replace Brennan? No. I don’t think even what he said in the 100th about moving on indicated he was thinking in terms of replacing her. We don’t replace people in our lives – just ask someone who’s been widowed and then loved again.

    So there he is, with both women in DC. Every day he works with a woman he’s always going to love, but who has indicated she doesn’t want more than partnership with him. Meanwhile, there’s this other woman he also loves – in a different way – who loved him (he thinks) enough to follow him. So he tries. He tries hard to make that relationship be what he wants it to be, partly, I think, because he was still hoping that as his feelings for Hannah deepened, his feelings for Brennan would become more manageable.

    But whatever was going on in that sense, I think he felt he owed Hannah more than for her to have been a consolation prize. If he’d broken up with her after TDiP, no matter how he said it, no matter how he worded it, no matter how respectful he tried to be, he would have basically been saying, ‘so, hey, I was just using you as backup, but now it turns out the real deal wants me, so have a good life, OK?’ And whether Hannah deserved that respect or not, he couldn’t be the type of man that would do that. He doesn’t use women, and if he’d dropped her like an old shoe when Brennan changed her mind, that’s exactly what he would have been doing.

    I know people who think he should have just accepted that that’s what he was doing – using her. They figure that eventually, happy with Brennan, he would have gotten over the feeling that he’d betrayed principles that matter to him. But would he? Or would his sense of ‘I’m not a good guy, after all, because I treated a good woman that way’ have eventually caused problems in his relationship with Brennan? I tend to think so, because how we view ourselves is so very important and does influence how we relate to others. That’s the irony of all of this, or one of them – that if he’d dumped Hannah the way so many fans wanted him to, it’s possible (at least from what I can see) that in his mind, he would no longer have deserved Brennan.

    Others have said that he was screwed either way, that even if it wasn’t using Hannah, it was disrespectful to propose when he knew he loved someone else more. But that goes back to your view of love and the relationship between love and commitment. If she’d said yes, and he married her, I think he would have spent his life focusing on trying to love her more every day, on seeking to nurture that relationship.

    Fortunately, his relationship with Hannah wasn’t what he thought it was on her end (why he thought that is a whole different topic) and he wound up free…but with the knowledge that he’d behaved consistently with her in the sense of how a man treats a woman. There’s no shadow hanging over him and Brennan now. He can still respect himself, and I think that’s hugely, hugely important to him.

    • ryongeny, I love everything you said 🙂

    • Thank you, rynogeny.

    • I agree with much of what you said, but I disagree with the idea that Booth could not have broken up with Hannah without it coming across as ‘using’ her. If he made an honest attempt and for awhile believed he was in love with her I don’t think it puts him a poor light to come to grips with his emotions and realize he’s about to make another big mistake with his heart. I think it’s much more honorable to break up with Hannah than to go through with an engagement and a wedding to a woman knowing all the while that he loves another one ‘the most’. That’s a dis-service to both women.

      Since we always knew it was in the cards for Booth and Brennan to end up together, there wasn’t any actual risk for the scene to play out the way it did, but I will never agree that Booth couldn’t have ended the relationship before it came to a proposal and still remained honorable and ‘Boothy’.

      • Lisa, I don’t think it’s a question of whether we think that Booth could have broken up with Hannah and still been honorable and Boothy, but what Booth would think about it. I think that after DitP, Booth would have seen any attempt that he made to end his relationship with Hannah as dumping her for Brennan. Which means facing up to the fact that he still wanted Brennan more than he wants Hannah. Which means facing up to the possibility that Hannah was just a placeholder. Which would mean that, in his mind, he was using Hannah. All of this adds up to some serious questioning-of-self for Booth, in my opinion.

      • I totally agree with you there. It seems to me that Booth was so determined to live up to his own ideal of a committed relationship that he couldn’t even let himself consider the fact that he might have made a mistake with Hannah, which he should have after he realized that she’s not the woman he loves most. If we have to talk morals here (and with Booth, that’s an important topic), I think the truly “right” thing to do would have been to own up to his feelings for Brennan, come clean to Hannah, end the relationship and take things from there.

        Booth never considered backing out of the commitment – but instead, he made Hannah do it by pushing her too far. I don’t think it happened on a conscious level, but still, the way he immediately – almost brutally, really – cut Hannah loose when she said no makes me certain that it was a factor.

        This was one of the moments when IMO “the right thing” was totally the wrong thing to do, and it leaves the question what Booth would have done if against all odds, Hannah had said yes – was he really willing to marry her even though he knew she was second best? That’s not really taking the moral high ground to me – like you said, it would have been a disservice to both Hannah and Brennan.

      • Yes, others have pointed out in the disparity between Booth’s reactions to Brennan’s rejection and Hannah’s refusal of his proposal.

        After Brennan rejected him he almost immediately agreed to continue their partnership (essentially going back to the way things were before) and then they link arms and walk away together.

        In contrast, when Hannah asked if they would just go back to the way things were he basically said, “Hell no. Pack your bags.”

        It certainly speaks to the difference in the depth of his feelings for each of them. I’m not entirely certain what it says about his self-awareness about said feelings.

      • Capri,

        I left out something I was thinking about when I posted this early. (Silly lunch break…too short.)

        You note that you think he could have broken up without it coming across as if he was using her…but to whom? Hannah? Probably. The world at large? Maybe, maybe not, and maybe he wouldn’t have cared. But could Booth have broken up with her and not felt he’d been using her if it was in anyway tied to realizing Brennan had changed her mind?

        I don’t think so, in large part because of his “Hannah’s not a consolation prize” comment in the SUV. This is pure interpretation, so others will see it differently, but to me that always feels a bit defensive. I don’t think Brennan said anything to suggest she was thinking that about Hannah, and yet he laid it out there, and I believe it’s because he was afraid Hannah was just that – or was pretty certain she was. And he couldn’t let that be true and live with himself, because I think a significant part of how he views himself in respect to his relationships with women is that he’s not that kind of guy.

        Obviously, they could write him however they wanted, and had him break up with her and be fine with it – ‘we all make mistakes,’ or even justify it that she was using him, too, or whatever. But for me, this satisfies the question of why a man would propose to someone he didn’t love the most.

        So then we’re back to what kind of insult is it to propose to someone you don’t love the most? That’s a different question, but to me it indicates that Booth does see love as both emotion and commitment.

    • Very well said.

      I would also add that in the state that he was in after Brennan rejected him, asked him to continue to be her partner, and then skedaddled, Booth made a crucial mistake at the beginning of his relationship with Hannah. In season four…I’m thinking it was the Science in the Physicist, Booth told Brennan that you have to let the marks that people leave on you fade, rather than painting over them. But he was hurting so much from what felt like repeated rejections from Brennan despite his efforts to play by her rules that he lost patience with waiting for the marks to fade and just rolled right over them with a fresh coat of Hannah.

      • When he told her there’s always one you love the most, that pretty much told me he did want Brennan more than Hannah. After his anger at the break-up subsided I think he did realize that Hannah was a place holder which was why after the initial anger he wasn’t devastated by her leaving.

        I still don’t consider honestly realizing what your true feelings are about someone ‘using’ them. I think to maintain the relationship once you identify your true feelings goes over to using side.

        I wouldn’t want to know my fiance told his partner/friend about ‘loving someone the most’ and realize he didn’t mean me.

        I respect your opinion, but I will never agree that Booth had to go through with the proposal.

      • Lisa, I agree that what you say is perfectly logical and valid, but, in my opinion, Booth was a Total Emotional Mess and completely lacked perspective on the entire Booth/Hannah/Bones triangle.

        I would also agree that it would really make me angry to find out that I was second choice and that my fiancé only stuck with me because he didn’t want to feel guilty for dumping me for Numero Uno or face his own emotional baggage. Proposing to one woman when you actually want another is a really crappy thing to do. But Booth was trying so hard to play it safe that his blinders had blinders on.

        I’m not making excuses for him, just exploring the reason behind his behavior.

        If you really want to get practical about it, va32h said in response to another BT post that the proposal going down the way it did was an effort by HH and company to get rid of Hannah without making anyone “the bad guy.” I can certainly see that, and it gave the writers a convenient excuse not to have to bring Hannah up again. They just swept it all under the rug while Booth dealt with his anger and then…baby!

    • Very nicely written.

      • ryogeny, I agree whole-heartedly with your Theory of Booth and Hannah. I would also add that I think that his “serious as a heart attack” comment was probably intended to reassure Brennan, as well. Booth had to be thinking that she ran away thinking that they couldn’t work together because he wasn’t actually moving on, and that was taking its toll on their partnership. He had no reason to believe that her time in Maluku had changed her mind about entering a personal relationship with him. Maybe on some level he was trying to say, “See. I finally did it. Things can stop being weird between us. I promise not to moon over you anymore.” I don’t mean that he was consciously lying….just maybe fooling himself and her a bit.

        And yeah, the “consolation prize” comment clearly falls under the heading of “methinks he doth protest too much” as far as I’m concerned.

    • rynogeny, great response. I’ve missed your thoughts. Everybody is bringing up such great points. I’m straddling the fence and want to take both sides. I agree with others that Booth normally was a self-sacrificing guy. He just wasn’t as self-sacrificing after he and Brennan went separate ways and she never contacted him. And I can understand that. I think for most of his life, he feels compelled to do the right thing. But by that point, it didn’t seem to get him anywhere and it didn’t leave him with much. So yeah, I can agree with his sentiment that he wanted to give himself the chance to be happy.

      In my mind, Booth didn’t just jump straight into Hannah’s arms. At least I would like to think that wasn’t the case because the show was never clear on when their relationship started. Maybe it was after a few months. And then there was the time period between the 100th and them leaving D.C. I could see how he could think that maybe enough time had passed to try with someone else, again.

      On the other hand, even if I do feel for Booth and the pain he was going through, I can’t help but think some of his actions were cowardly. Especially since he admitted to telling lies to protect himself. His protests that everything was fine, that the past was the past, and casting a blind eye to his real feelings hurt him later. I guess one question to ask is – just because you love someone the most, does that mean you are meant to spend the rest of your life with that person, or marry them? I think I felt uncomfortable with the fact that Booth was going to marry Hannah, but stay partners and friends with Brennan, especially since Booth never told Hannah how he really felt about Brennan. By the time of the proposal, they had pretty much admitted to each other that they love each other the most. As Booth’s serious girlfriend and potential wife (at least in his mind), I think Hannah deserved to know how he really felt about his partner since he worked with her so much and was still friends with her. Even if she said she trusted him but wanted a follow-up talk with Brennan to stake her territory, or went the other way and asked him not to work with Brennan anymore, she deserved to know. The idea that he forced Hannah make the decision just says that he didn’t want to make it himself to keep himself from looking like the bad guy. I’m not trying to hate on Booth – he’s always been a fallible human but basically a good guy in my eyes.

      Okay, I’m with camcat. This whole Hannah business just always makes my head hurt. I can’t make up my mind on a lot of things where she is concerned. And I’m not certain of Booth’s ideologies on love anymore. He said that there is one person that you are meant to spend the rest of your life with, he knew from the beginning, and Brennan was the standard. I don’t see how two people can fit the bill for those things. So IMO, for Hannah not to be a consolation prize, either his ideologies changed, or he made himself believe Brennan wasn’t “the one” and Hannah was.

      • Something that flows a bit from my comment to CG is that …I do sort of think he was using Hannah. I don’t usually say that because I feel like I’m being mean to him (LOL!) but, well, I do. But that doesn’t mean it was conscious, or that he didn’t love her, which qualify it quite a bit for me.

        The truth is, I don’t think Hannah was ‘serious as a heart attack’ when he said those words to Brennan. I think he met her in Afghanistan, had a relationship with her, that he cared about her. But I get stuck when I think about everything we’re told and/or know: Booth’s nearly 40. He wants a permanent relationship. He wants someone who will be with him for ’30 or 40 or 50 years.’ But he’s in a relationship – one he calls serious – with a woman who lives on the other side of the world and who has told him she will never ask for a stateside transfer, while he’s planning on staying here for Parker. How do those pieces add up? The very best I can see is that they had plans to get together for a few weeks a year when one or the other of them were on vacation. But even if that qualified as a real relationship for Angela (with Kurt)…how could it be what Booth wanted?

        So my theory of Booth and Hannah goes like this:
        They met when he was lonely and despairing over Brennan and the lack of contact. He really liked her (she is the kind of the woman we’ve seen that he’s attracted to, in terms of intelligence, assertiveness, etc.) and is attracted to her. They spend time together. I think he may have felt like he could build a life with her, that while she’s there and showing interest, he begins to think it’s possible he can get over Brennan. Not stop loving Brennan, exactly, but have a happy life with someone else. But Hannah’s not ready to make a commitment, and has no plans to ever live on the same continent as him.

        He comes home, sees Brennan, and if you watch that section of MitR, you see his whole face light up with joy when he first sees her…which then turns into this sort of ‘oh, crap’ expression. I know some people take that look to mean other things, but for me, it meant he’d realized his feelings for Brennan were just as deep as they’d ever been. So now what? Yeah, there’s been Hannah, but she’s on the other side of the world and he doesn’t know when he’s going to see her again. So I sort of think when he tells Brennan about Hannah (the heart attack bit) it was for him, not her. To remind himself that he’d had a relationship, was still sort of in one (if you don’t get too technical about actually being together.)

        And then Hannah saves him from himself (from the feelings for Brennan that he assumes are still unreturned but which he’s definitely feeling and trying to manage.) And I think he falls more in love with Hannah right then, because she has followed him, made what felt like a huge gesture that none of the others had made. (And I think that gesture is why he couldn’t see what she wasn’t interested in, i.e., marriage.) But those feelings are always in the context of his feelings for Brennan and I think he spends the rest of his relationship with Hannah trying really, really hard to love her, to make the relationship work. And he did love her…but I’m not sure part of why he loved her wasn’t that when he was focusing on her, it was easier not to face his feelings for Brennan. But none of that would be something a man who works hard not to use women would be able to easily face. Thus the defensiveness of ‘Hannah’s not a consolation prize’ and everything else.

        Anyway, for what it’s worth, that’s how I make sense of all it, but I know it doesn’t work for others.

      • First, C-bones, thanks for sharing that tidbit! Fun!

        Second, I think we can argue about whether Booth’s season 6 actions are right or wrong, because are bringing our own personal beliefs, experiences, and ideas into it. I do the same, but I’m trying to see it through Booth’s perspective. See his side from a guy with his type of past, his history in family and romantic relationships. His experiences a soldier and agent, dealing with the worst of humanity and death in many forms. A father trying to do right by his son. A guy who is flawed in many ways but is aiming for the “right thing”. Whether we personally think his actions are right or wrong, in BOOTH’S mind, he was trying to do the right thing. In HIS mind, he was trying to make it work with Brennan, failed, went back to a war zone away from his loved ones, found someone who liked him, then she follows him home, and he deals with the ramifications in the best way he figured how. After being rejected by Brennan, he’s was trying to move on with Hannah. And we can argue over what exactly precipitated the proposal, but I think they were trying to get across that Booth was caught between a rock and a hard place. Trying to stay true to his belief system, but also go with his heart. I think had Hannah accepted, he would have thrown his whole heart into the relationship, but I think subconciously, he knew she would not. But I still do not think he was actually trying to force her hand.

        And then, in Booth’s twisted thoughts at the end of the Daredevil ep, he’d turned Hannah’s turning him down as just another woman rejecting him. Well, we know that’s not entirely how it went, but in the immediate aftermath, that’s how his brain saw it. Given time, I think he’d come to realize that his ultimatium was unfair, but in the heat of the moment, we’ve all said/done things not quite right! The guy had been through one heck of a season, and I think he came out of it pretty well, all things considered.

        I, for one, am grateful that Brennan did turn him down and he did find Hannah. Why? Because now they BOTH “know”, and its not just a one-sided Booth thing. Brennan was stunned with the reality of losing him for good, and Booth realized that no Brennan-lite will ever replace Brennan. Season 7 is going to ROCK! 🙂

    • Wow. Awesome. And so well said. This is pretty much everything I’ve felt about that whole situation and couldn’t put into words.

  9. CJsMom, I can’t seem to reply to you, but I think Va32h has it right. This way no one was the bad guy and everybody goes home happy. I’m so glad we’re on to better things now for Season 7.

    • Yeah, sometimes you just have to shrug and say, “television” while shaking your head. This seems to be one of those times.

      • Or as Bones fans would say, *hand wave

        (As stolen from NatesMama, who got it from BrainySmurfs, who borrowed it from Rynogeny, who copied it from, I think, Confucius.)

      • lol. Yes, I’m willing to handwave. Television (for entertainment) should not bring trouble my spirits. It should either make me happy and laugh, or move me and inspire me. I will tell myself whatever I need to because it just doesn’t need to be that serious.

        Hakuna Matata! You gotta put your behind in the past!

  10. Guys! I just found out the coolest fact. I was just watching the commentary of HH, SN, and Ian Toynton on the season 5 finale, and they said they chose the Maluku Islands because its motto is “Siwa Lima,” which means “belong together.” They can be really sentimental when they want to be. What am I saying, of course they can; that’s how we’ve gotten so many sweet B&B moments that make for great scene studies here!

    • Great tidbit! All the layers are what I love about Bones. Some subtle, some not-so-much, all fun 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing this. It’s lovely. While I understand the view point of those who think the only meaning from the show is what they actually show on screen (not, for example, from things the writers say about their intent or perspectives) I love the things that point to what they intend, whether it always works or not. 🙂

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